Scrolling news:

Prayer outfit launched for UK market

Abdul Adil

A Malaysian company launched its women’s prayer outfit in London on October 21. Siti Khadijah claims its prayer outfit is more comfortable and elegant to wear than others in the market.

Telekung is a traditional Malay prayer dress worn by Muslim women during prayers to help them cover up quickly and easily. Like a uniform, it is worn specifically for prayers to ensure cleanliness.

Telekung is a special uniform used by the women from the Malay Archipelagos when performing their prayers and is synonymously associated with the Malay Culture.

Founder of SK, Padzilah Enda Sulaiman, a mother of six boys, was inspired to create premium prayer outfit when she “began to understand the common dilemma faced by Muslimah [Muslim women] when wearing poor quality prayer outfit during salah [prayers].”

“Besides these outfits would always be ill-fitted with poor cutting that did not stay put around the face and chin area. Therefore it motivated me to seek the best solution in creating the perfect prayer outfit,” she added.

The patented design introduced by SK is mainly focused on the facial design combining high-quality fabric ensuring comfort during prayer and stretchable material which will compliment any face shape and size.

SK offers four unique face designs to its collection of prayer outfits, which are recognizably different from the standard design. The materials used are of high-quality cotton, spun polyester, rayon and silk with the combination of beautifully crafted laces sewn in a meticulous manner.

Top Tories share platform with anti-Muslim Hindu extremist

Bob Blackman hosted the Hindu Forum of Britain who invited anti-Muslim Hindu nationalist Tapan Ghosh.  Also present (top) Priti Patel, Sajid Javid, Paul Scully, Damian Green,  Amber Rudd  and Theresa Villiers (Photo: Creative Commons)

Hamed Chapman

Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, and Cabinet Minister, Damian Green, were among other senior Conservative politicians to have rubbed shoulders with an anti-Muslim extremist during an event in the British parliament timed to celebrate Diwali last month.

Tapan Ghosh was an invited guest at the event despite previously advocating there should be forced birth control and conversion for Muslims. He boasted that he had created a “Hindu Defence Force” in West Bengal, where he was a founding member of Hindu Samhati, a far-right nationalist group.

Notably, Ghosh also praised the recent ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.  In other outrageous comments, he has also called for the United Nations to control the birth rate of Muslims and been boastful of his relationship with the English far-right leader Tommy Robinson.

The event in the House of Commons was hosted by Conservative MP for Harrow East, Bob Blackman, on behalf of the Hindu Forum of Britain. Transport Minister, Theresa Villiers, Minister for International Development, Priti Patel, and Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, as well as Labour backbench MP, Paul Scully, were also understood to have attended the meeting.

Blackman, who is a member of the Communities and Local Government Committee, invited Ghosh as a keynote speaker for a separate event titled ‘Tolerating the Intolerant’ on the same day. “Had a good discussion on demography and global resistance against Islamic violence and aggression,” he later wrote when tweeting photographs clasping hands with the former leader of the far-right English Defence League.

The Muslim Council of Britain said it was “astounding” that a Conservative MP seems to have welcomed to Parliament with open arms a man who trades in propagating hatred against Muslims in India. “If we are to tackle extremism as the Government has stated it wants to, then we should not see it emanating on its own doorstep and apparently condoned by its own MPs.”

Others condemning senior Government ministers rubbing shoulders with such an obnoxious character included Labour MP Wes Streeting. “We don’t always know the background of everyone we meet or appear alongside as MPs, but I hope colleagues will clear this up by roundly condemning his remarks and ensuring that he isn’t welcomed to Parliament again,” he told Middle East Eye.

“People should be in no doubt about how painful this invitation [to Parliament] will be to Muslims who are sadly on the receiving end of everyday abuse as a result of the remarks expressed by the likes of Tapan Ghosh. We need to send a message from across the political divide that we will never be bystanders to Islamophobia in Parliament or in our communities,” Streeting warned.

Labour MP Naz Shah raised a point of order in the House of Commons to criticise Ghosh’s attendance at the two events. Shah said that “Ghosh holds abhorrent views, is on record for calling upon the United Nations to control the birth rate of Muslims, praising the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Burma and also said Muslims should be forced to leave their religion if they come to a western country.”

“Only this Monday Mr Ghosh was pictured with UK far-right extremist leader Tommy Robinson.

“It seems incredible to me that any member would think it would be acceptable to host a meeting with this individual, let alone invite him to our House of Commons.”

A Home Office spokesman for Amber Rudd said: “The Home Secretary fundamentally disagrees with Mr Ghosh’s views on Islam.

“The Home Secretary accepted an invitation from the Hindu Forum of Britain to attend an event in Parliament last week to celebrate Diwali.

“She did not speak to Mr Ghosh and was not present when he spoke.”

The Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Muslim Community in Blackman’s constituency said that they were dismayed to hear that their MP had associated himself with someone renowned for his “venom and hatred against Muslims.” They expressed their “unreserved exception” about the visit at a time when Islamophobia was already at record levels.

“Our community is at the forefront of interfaith dialogue. Yet this week, you have shown disregard for the fears and sentiments of thousands of your constituents,” KSIMC President, Mustafa Mohamed, told the Tory politician. Five issues raised here to be addressed including what due diligence was carried out about Ghosh, whether he agreed with legislation to reduce the Muslim birthrate, if he shared aspiration for an anti-Muslim defence force, that Blackman condemned praise for attacks on Rohingya Muslims and he would apologise for sharing a platform with such a character and insinuating Muslims were second-class citizens.

Blackman said: “In our commitment as a nation to fight extremism and radicalisation it is important to hear the voices of suppressed minorities.”

Blackman added: “Let me be clear, I did not invite Tapan Ghosh to this House of Commons. I hosted, in my capacity as Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus, two functions on [October 18], at which Tapan Ghosh attended.”

Satish Sharma, General Secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples, who organised the event, defending the decision to inviting Ghosh said the event was “specifically focused on the plight of girls in the Hindu and Sikh traditions”.

“[Ghosh] has been working in the particular space in Bengal for a long period of time. Controversy is something that an awful lot of people court and we couldn’t find somebody [else] who had his decades of grassroots experience,” he said.

Cambridge Uni accused of stifling free speech after threatening to shut Palestine event

Elham Asaad Buaras

Over 350 people, senior academics from leading UK universities, have signed an open letter protesting “an intolerable violation of academic freedom” after Cambridge University officials threatened to shut down a Palestine Society event on November 8.

Lecturers at Cambridge, Warwick, the London School of Economics and SOAS have all added their names to the letter which received hundreds of signatures from staff and students.

University officials contacted the student-run Cambridge University Palestine Society (PalSoc) just hours before their talk was due to take place, demanding their Director of Communications, Paul Mylrea, be installed as the panel’s chair “to ensure open, robust and lawful debate”.

Organisers agreed to allow Mylrea to chair – replacing SOAS Palestinian academic Ruba Salih – after being told the event would be forcibly cancelled if they failed to comply.

The event, titled ‘BDS and the globalised struggle for Palestinian rights’, was set to feature a panel of pro-Palestinian speakers, including Omar Barghouti and former NUS president Malia Bouattia.

Barghouti, the founder of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement, leads the campaign for international economic and political sanctions to be placed on Israel over its violation of international law and treatment of the Palestinians.

The open letter seen by The Muslim News reads: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempt by university authorities to interfere in a panel event…and believe such efforts constitute an intolerable violation of academic freedom…

“It is disturbing that [they] consider such censorship appropriate for an event designed to raise awareness of the human rights of Palestinians and indigenous peoples globally.

“It is deeply concerning that they have attempted to suppress this event through aggressive institutional intervention.

“In doing so, the university risks being seen to side with those who hope to silence the voices of the marginalised, and raises questions about the extent of its commitment to free speech.”

PalSoc described the University intervention as “heavy-handed” and authoritarian”. Adding, “Their replacement of a Palestinian woman with a white male member of university management, with no substantiation of their claim that the former was incapable of neutrality other than racialised insinuation, sends deeply disturbing signals about the prevalence of institutionalized discrimination at Cambridge.”

“Similar events at LSE … raise the same concerns,” added the Spokesperson.

Academic signatories include Dr Priyamvada Gopal and Dr Anne Alexander, both of Cambridge, Jamie Woodcock, a fellow at LSE, and Eleanor Tiplady Higgs, a senior fellow at SOAS.

The intervention comes not long after Cambridge banned its Arabic students from travelling to the Palestinian territories, following a spate of interrogations and deportations by Israeli security.

A spokesman for the University of Cambridge told The Muslim News: “The University is fully committed to freedom of speech and expression. We understand that certain events and issues evoke strong feelings among people and communities. But we believe it is important that staff, students and visitors to the University can participate fully in legitimate debate, partly so that they are able to question and test controversial ideas.

“We have no reason to believe that these events are in any way unlawful. Events will be well-chaired in order to ensure open, robust and lawful debate. In this instance, following calls from the organisers for extra safety measures, a neutral chair was provided to ensure that all sides were represented in what is an important and often emotionally charged debate.”

However, University officials failed to answer if there is a precedent to their demands of installing their own panellists to student-run events.

Anti-Balfour ads banned by TfL appear on black cabs

Elham Asaad Buaras

An advertising campaign to raise awareness of the negative effects of the Balfour Declaration which was banned by transport bosses in the British capital, London, was used on the iconic black cabs.

The campaign, which is running using the hashtag #MakeItRight, is an attempt to highlight the negative impact of the Balfour Declaration 100 years after it was signed.

Earlier last month, London Underground said it blocked the campaign from trains on the basis that the issue is politically controversial; however, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, accused the body of censorship.

The adverts had been drawn up to run in key stations in the run-up to the centenary of the signing of the declaration on November 2 for the duration of the month.

Over 50 black cabs drove around London’s streets highlighted the plight of Palestinians living in the occupied territories and in refugee camps as a result of the “British Government’s broken promise”.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Mission to the UK explained to The Muslim News, “Our campaign aims to raise awareness about the consequences of the Balfour Declaration which subsequently led to the forced expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948. The campaign consists of images of Palestinians leading ordinary lives before their dispossession, contrasted with images of them as refugees and victims of war and occupation.”

“These images are anchored by a quote from the Balfour Declaration of 1917. ‘Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.’ The non-Jewish communities being the Muslim and Christian Palestinians who made up 90 percent of the population at the time.”

UK celebrates Balfour Declaration as Palestinians suffer under Israeli occupation and loss of their land

Demonstrators in London protest against the Balfour Declaration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the British capital, on November 4 (Photo: Isabel Infantes/ AA)

Aishah Ali

Thousands of protesters marched in London on November 4 to condemn the centurion of the Balfour Declaration that led to the creation of the Israeli state and loss of Palestinian land. The demonstration came days after the UK hosted Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to celebrate the declaration.

The march began from the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square to Parliament Square in Westminster. Although it was largely peaceful, a dozen or so pro-Israeli demonstrators tried to intervene to counter-protest but were moved away by police.

The Balfour Declaration was a letter signed 100 years ago by the then Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, to the leader of British Jewish community, Lord Walter Rothschild, stating support for a “national home for Jewish people” in Palestine. It further stated that the British Government will “use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievements of this objective.”

Protestors demanded that the British Government should apologise for the consequences of that decision. A protestor from Birmingham told The Muslim News, “Palestine was not Britain’s nor Balfour’s to give away, and it has now led to decades of brutal occupation for millions of people.”

In Parliament Square, Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian activist, said Britain should “apologise to us and also apologise to the good Jewish people” who have been used as “instruments in the colonial system in the British Empire.”

Other supporters and speakers included film director Ken Loach who said, “It was not the British people who signed Balfour, but the British ruling class” and it is a “monument to their imperialist arrogance.” He added, “Just look at the map and see the destruction and theft of land that has taken place.”

Celebrating the occasion in London, Prime Minister, Theresa May, hosted Israeli Prime Minister at a gala dinner saying Britain is “proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the state of Israel.” In her speech at Lancaster House, she said she was “proud of the relationship we have built with Israel” and called for “renewed resolve to support a lasting peace that is in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians”.

However, she refused to apologise to the Palestinian people. “When some people suggest we should apologise for this letter, I say absolutely not,” she told those who had gathered to celebrate the creation of Israel on Palestinian land.

Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who did not attend the dinner, because of “pre-existing engagements” said“ A hundred years on the second part of Britain’s pledge has still not been fulfilled and Britain’s historic role means we have a special responsibility to the Palestinian people, who are still denied their basic rights.

“So let us mark the Balfour anniversary by recognizing Palestine as a step towards a genuine two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, increasing international pressure for an end to the 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories, illegal settlement expansion and the blockade of Gaza.”

However, Corbyn sent Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, to join in the celebration with Netanyahu and May.

Organisers of the event included Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Stop the War, Friends of Al Aqsa and Muslim Associate of Britain (MAB).

Islamic School wins Mayor of London’s Environment and Healthy Living Award

London Islamic School has won the Team London Environment and Healthy Living Award 2017 for outstanding contribution to volunteering (Photo: LIS)

London Islamic School, a Muslim Secondary school for boys, has been awarded the Team London Environment and Healthy Living Award 2017 for outstanding contribution to volunteering on November 6.

The Team London Awards ceremony celebrates the individuals, teams and corporate volunteers who are making outstanding contributions as active citizens in their communities and helping to make the capital, London, the best city it can be.

London Islamic School achieved this award for providing opportunities in volunteering through its Youth Travel Ambassadors scheme. Youth Travel Ambassadors comprises of a number of student volunteers working in partnership with the transport for London to promote active travel in the school and community. The team came up with a project they named Energy & Safety: Our Priority #Energize which involved a campaign consisting of a series of team-led assemblies as well as partner assemblies with NGO’s educating students and staff about safe and responsible travel, health and wellbeing.

Mohammad Yaser, Head of Citizenship at London Islamic School, said, “The entire volunteering project from start to finish was an amazing experience for the boys and all involved. This experience has provided the YTA boys with an insight of the real world.”

Muslim charity to keep over 21,000 UK homeless warm

Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham talking to Human Appeal staff distributing coats to rough sleepers on ‎October‎ ‎19‎ (Photo: Charles Lawley/ Human Appeal)

Nadine Osman

British Muslim faith-based charity, Human Appeal, has launched its winter Wrap Up Campaign where they are aiming to collect and donate at least 21,00 coats to the rough sleepers of four major UK cities.

Wrap Up Manchester, Wrap Up London, Wrap Up Glasgow and Wrap Up Birmingham campaigns started on November 13 and run until November 15.

The campaign will also provide coats to charities to help the elderly in crisis, children in poverty and refugees.

Human Appeal will be running the efforts in Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow, where they aim to collect 3,000 coats and are the main charity sponsor of Wrap Up London, run by HandsOn London, who hope to collect 18,000 coats.

This campaign will be Wrap Up Manchester’s second year and Wrap Up London’s seventh year, but the first year of the project in Glasgow and Birmingham. Last year, when Human Appeal launched Wrap Up Manchester they aimed to collect 700 coats for vulnerable people in Manchester over the winter, instead, 1,500 items were received.

Supported by Network Rail, Human Appeal’s Wrap Up Campaign will use Manchester Piccadilly station as a coat donation site on November 13, 14 and 15 and SafeStore; using their self-storage centres across Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham as donation sites throughout the collection period.

In a statement to The Muslim News Othman Moqbel, Human Appeal’s Chief Executive, said, “The winter months can be unforgiving for those sleeping rough or unable to afford a winter coat. We, in Human Appeal, want to not only offer a hand to those in desperate need of humanitarian aid but to wrap an arm around those in desperate need of warmth. We aim to help people in need all across the world regardless of their race or religion or gender or location. Whether it’s someone in need in Mosul or Manchester, Human Appeal aims to help in every humanitarian crisis.”

Samra Said, Human Appeal’s UK Domestic Programmes Manager, who is leading on the Wrap Up Campaign, says, “The number of rough sleepers in the UK has risen by 133 percent over 5 years. In the harsh winter months, Human Appeal empowers all communities to come together through Wrap Up Manchester to help those most in need. Warm someone’s body with a coat and warm their heart by letting them know you care.”

Priti Patel’s resignation fails to lift veil over secret Israeli meetings

Priti Patel was forced to resign as UK International Development Secretary after holding 12 unauthorised meetings in Israel including one with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Commons)

Hamed Chapman

Development Secretary, Priti Patel, was forced out of Theresa May’s cabinet for covering up the extent of her clandestine meetings with Israeli officials despite initial attempts to underplay her serious breaches of her ministerial responsibilities, according to wide and varying reports.

“I accept that in meeting with organisations and politicians during a private holiday in Israel my actions fell below the high standards that are expected of a Secretary of State,” the Harrow-born MP said in her resignation letter, referring to what she said after being summoned to the Prime Minister’s office twice in three days. “While my actions were meant with the best of intentions, my actions also fell below the standards of transparency and openness that I have promoted and advocated.”

In response, May said that on their first meeting she had originally been “glad to accept your apology and welcomed your clarification about your trip to Israel over the summer.” But added that since “further details have come to light, it is right that you have decided to resign and adhere to the high standards of transparency and openness that you have advocated.”

The effective sacking was choreographed by the media after she had been ordered back to London in the middle of a trip to Kenya. Not only were her series of meetings with Israeli officials not formally disclosed let alone sanctioned, they were seemingly outside of her remit and most seriously in breach of being accompanied by civil servants to minute what was said and agreed.

Britain’s first Indian Minister, as May described her, was effectively acting as a lone wolf without any checks. The meetings, held while she was supposed to be on a family holiday, were held with high ranking Israeli politicians including the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as lobbyists. It later transpired that she had others such meeting at the UN in New York as well as in London.

Yet the picture was far from clear with Patel apparent first claiming that the Foreign Office was aware of them before it was denied. The Jewish Chronicle even accused the British premier of covering up herself what she knew about Patel’s series of meetings that were understood to have been set up by the vice-president of the Conservative Friends of Israel lobbying group. It seems that there were no less at least 14 meetings but the weekly reported that it was May’s office who instructed the former International Development Secretary not to mention those outside Israel until they leaked out too.

In the deliberately confusing picture, questions still remained about how much May knew, even regarding the bizarre offer Patel was apparently making to funnel British taxpayer-funded foreign aid to Israeli projects, including to the Israeli army in the occupied Golan Heights where she also reportedly visited but again was initially not mentioned to avoid embarrassment with the Foreign Office and official policy that deems the annexation of Golan Heights by Israel as illegal.

Despite the severity of her offences and breaches of ministerial code, the British media seemed to be more focused and concerned about the effects of the Prime Minister losing a second minister within a week and the imbalance of her Government between Brexiteers and remainers rather than Patel’s extraordinary behaviour that was described by some as potentially treasonous.

“In hindsight, I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way could be misread, and how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures. I am sorry for this and I apologise for it,” her first mea culpa statement read. Even when she was caught telling an untruth that Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, had been made aware of the meetings, she only eventually admitted that she “may have given the impression that the Secretary of State had informed the Foreign Secretary about the visit in advance … (but he ) did become aware of the visit, but not in advance of it.”

The whole episode was particularly delicate as the clandestine meetings leaked out on the day after Netanyahu had visited May in Downing Street. It became even more awkward as it turned out that Patel had asked her officials to look at giving British aid to the Israeli army. Her deputy, Alistair Burt, rapidly distanced himself from such a suggestion, insisting that his “department’s view is that aid to the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) in the (occupied) Golan Heights is not appropriate, we don’t do that, and that was the advice given to the secretary of state.”

CAGE seeks to curb abuse of Schedule 7 powers

CAGE’s Muhammad Rabbani to appeal against court ruling. Photographer: Abdullah Baily/CAGE

Hamed Chapman


Britain’s much maligned Schedule 7 powers enacted under the Terrorism Act 2000 have again come under fire with the international director of a human rights campaign organisation set to appeal a controversial conviction over refusing to hand over passwords to his mobile phone and lap top.

Muhammad Rabbani of CAGE  was found guilty at Westminster magistrates’ court last month of wilfully obstructing police while being detained under the controversial Stop and Search powers at Heathrow airport in November last year though instead of being sentenced he was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £620 in costs.

His lawyers plan to appeal to the High Court against on the grounds that existing police powers do not sufficiently protect privacy or legally privileged material.

The verdict effectively confirmed that police have the powers under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to demand access to electronic devices and that refusal to cooperate is a criminal offence.

Rabbani, who has previously been detained under Schedule 7 on more than 20 occasions, was stopped again when he was returning from a wedding in Qatar at which he had met a man who alleged he had been tortured in the United States. He had downloaded evidence about the allegations onto his laptop and iPhone in order to bring it back into the UK so that he could pass it on to British lawyers.

For refusing to hand over his passwords, he faced up to three months in jail and a heavy fine, though he had refused on two previous occasions without being arrested and charged. The issue was so important that he said he had been prepared to face the outcome “even if it meant a term of imprisonment.”

“I have been convicted of protecting the confidentiality of my client. Our only option is to change the law. We will be appealing this decision,” the CAGE  Director said outside the court after the verdict.

His solicitor Gareth Peirce said it was a “mockery of the concept of due process” and the implication was that at the point of entry to the UK, suspects faced a dilemma “like a gun being put to your head” by the police. “The process of examination in court shows that there are no satisfactory protections (of legally privileged material),” she warned.

In court, Henry Blaxland QC, for Rabbani, said that the Stop had not been lawful. His client was not stopped for the purpose of a police inquiry into the preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism according to Schedule 7 but was detained for a “collateral purpose.”

In a statement given to officers after he was arrested, Rabbani clarified that although he considered that the police were in law entitled to ask questions so that they could satisfy themselves he was not engaged in terrorist activity, it did not justify being required to “expose all the sensitive contents of my phone to being copied and undoubtedly disseminated not just to police but to intelligence services and possibly elsewhere in the world – an unjustifiable, uncontrolled acquisition of material.”

Recent articles have claimed that material obtained through port stops had been shared with GCHQ, the Government’s monitoring organisation, and overseas intelligence services. They follow when the alleged abuse of Schedule 7 first came to international attention in 2013, when David Miranda, the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained under schedule 7, also at Heathrow. Miranda was held because authorities believed he was carrying files relating to Edward Snowden, the US National Security Agency whistle-blower, but it was later ruled that authorities had acted lawfully.

CAGE , which was established in 2004, itself monitors the way security operations and anti-terror laws affect the Muslim community within the UK and abroad. It campaigned against extra-judicial rendition of suspects to Guantanamo Bay.

The judgement confirms that a person can “fall foul of terrorism laws” for protecting client confidentiality,” the campaign group said. “The principle of presumption of innocence, the principle of client confidentiality and the principle of personal privacy are all too important to surrender even with the threat of conviction.”

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, which gives police sweeping powers to search and interrogate individuals at ports of entry in Britain without grounds for suspicion. People can be questioned for up to six hours and have no right to remain silent. The law has frequently been criticised by human rights groups for its allegedly discriminatory implementation and impact on civil liberties.

Among others, Liberty rights group has described the law as “breathtakingly broad and intrusive” and said ethnic minorities were disproportionately targeted with Asians 42 times more likely to be stopped than white people. “We’ve long argued that Schedule 7 is ripe for misuse and discrimination,” it has argued.

“We believe it contravenes the basic rights to liberty and respect for private life, as protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, and is therefore unlawful.”

Between 2009 and 2016, British authorities carried out 400,058 “examinations” of people under the discredited Schedule 7 powers, an average of about 50,000 per year, or 137 every day, yet it leads to very few arrests or anyone being charged with any terrorist crimes.


Khan to visit India, Pakistan to promote business

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Photographer: Ray Tang/AA

Ahmed J Versi


Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will be visiting India and Pakistan to promote UK trade. The date of the visit has not yet been fixed.

Speaking to ethnic media on October 10 in City Hall, Khan said he will tell India and Pakistan that the UK is open for business despite Brexit. “People of India and Pakistan think because we are leaving the EU we will be closed for business. Nothing has changed. Key messages will be that London continues to welcome people from across the world to work, study or visit,” he said.

Khan added that the trip is also a confidence building trip and strengthening economic and cultural ties with London. His ‘London is Open’ will be the theme of his visit.

The Mayor will emphasise that London “remains the world’s number-one destination for business, investment, talent and ideas.”

The other issue that Khan will say London can work with Indi and Pakistan is “tackling some of the biggest challenges we all face, such as air pollution and climate change.”

Between 2005 and 2016 the UK was the second largest destination for Indian investment and 44 percent of the fasted growing Indian companies now have a base in London.

Bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at £2bn, and in 2015 five Pakistani companies were listed on the London Stock Exchange with a combined market value of £10bn.

On difficulties faced by Indian and Pakistani students to get visas to study in the UK,  ​Khan said he will be asking the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to change the immigration rules. “It’s time for us to stand up and make the case for the freedom of movement of people and the benefits it has brought to our economy… Of course, we need a robust, managed immigration system and secure borders. This goes without saying.

“But we also need a system that makes it easier – not harder – to bring in the people from around the world who can help grow our prosperity and create more wealth, jobs and opportunities… Immigration brings new skills and innovation to our shores.”

Khan will visit six cities in six days – Mumbai, Delhi, Amritsar in India and then to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan. He is the first major British politician to embark on a trade mission to both countries in recent times.

More than 70 mosques open doors to teach first aid skills

(Photo: LifeSavers 2017)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Mosques across the UK took part in the British Islamic Medical Association’s (BIMA) LifeSavers project on September 30. More than 70 mosques turned their premises into training centres for life-saving skills. Last year 35 mosques took part in the one-day annual event.

Over 400 Muslim healthcare professionals volunteered to teach the general public basic life support and first aid skills. The free event ran for approximately 2 hours, covering CPR, Recovery Position and Choking Management and all attendees received a certificate.

BIMA Lifesavers project is now in its fourth year has trained several thousand people.

Working with the British Heart Foundation and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), it is on track to becoming one of the largest community basic life support training programmes in the UK.

In a statement to The Muslim News Dr Mohammed Wajid Akhter, Director of BIMA Lifesavers, said, “By utilising the hundreds of mosques spread across the country and giving health professionals a prominent platform within them, we hope to reduce the 50,000 deaths due to cardiac arrest that occurs every year, as well as use the opportunity to improve community health and relations.”

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the MCB, said, “This is a great initiative which allows mosques and Islamic centres up and down the country to not just serve as a place of worship but to be service providers for all communities. To learn lifesaving skills together through interfaith initiatives really captures the essence of unity, where communities can learn and come together to save lives”.

Berkshire carer wins Umrah trip

Sumera Bashir, her husband and children (Photo: Islamic Relief UK)

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Berkshire mum of three who also cares for her elderly and disabled in-laws has won a trip to Makkah for two to complete Umrah, courtesy of humanitarian aid charity Islamic Relief.

Sumera Bashir, who lives in Langley, near Slough, was nominated by her cousin Iqra Kataria for her selfless work in providing full-time care round-the-clock for her elderly and disabled in-laws, who are both housebound, having had a stroke and contracted Alzheimer’s.

Bashir is also mum to an autistic child and took care of her family’s finances after her husband was taken unwell and was unable to work full-time.

Bashir was surprised with the Umrah tickets when she was visited at her home by Islamic Relief rep.  Bashir said: “I can’t believe that I have won a trip to Makkah. This is such a surprise. To travel to Makkah to complete Umrah is the dream of a lifetime and I want to thank Islamic Relief for making it a reality for me.”

Kataria said she nominated her cousin because “exceptional person. She is committed to putting others first and is always smiling, even though she experiences a lot of hardship each day.”

UK Director of Islamic Relief, Imran Madden, told The Muslim News, “It is a privilege for Islamic Relief to provide such a committed and devoted woman with a return trip to Makkah and enable her to complete Umrah. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) said that ‘actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended’. We are glad that Sumera will experience the trip of a lifetime.”

Winners of inaugural Asian Food and Restaurant Awards

(L- R) Ealing Southall MP, Virendra Sharma and High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Her Excellency Amari Mandika Wijewardene present the Lifetime Achievement award to Mehboob Hussain (Photo: AFRA)

Nadine Osman

Founder of Nawaab restaurants Mehboob Hussain has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the inaugural Asian Food and Restaurant Awards on August 1.

The awards held in London recognise the achievements and positive contribution being made by South Asians across the UK food industry. His Royal Nawaab in Manchester was also named Restaurant of the year North West.

The awards  aim to celebrate these special stories as well as honour the dedication and commitment of those who have spread their love for Asian flavours through their passion to take their food culture to the mainstream.

Hussain, from the Royal Nawaab Manchester, took a chance when he transformed an old cinema into a wedding banqueting suite. The decision has in many ways revolutionised how Asian weddings were celebrated.

Accepting his award Hussain said, “I am truly humbled and honoured. I am lost for words.  All I can say is that it has given me the ammunition and determination to continue with my goals. ”

In a statement to The Muslim News Chair of the awards, Atta Ul Haq congratulated “all the participants and stakeholders of the food industry for their huge contribution for setting legendary benchmarks, be them the waiters, the chefs or the owners.”

 Asian Food and Restaurant Awards Winners: 

Best organics food product distributer, Tru Vibe by Anand Dani

Restaurant of the year North West, Royal Nawaab (Manchester)

Restaurant of the year Midland, Tipu Sultan (Birmingham)

Restaurant of the year South West, Urban Tandoor (Bristol)

Restaurant of the Year North & East London, Tayyab’s Restaurant

Restaurant of the year South & West London, Chak 89 by Frank Khalid

Restaurant newcomer of the year London, Chakra by Arjun Verma

Restaurant newcomer of the year North West, Ziya Restaurant Manchester

Restaurant of brand of the year UK, Akbar’s by Shabir Hussain

Catering Of The Year, Madhu’s

Chef of the year 2017, Aurangzeb Alamgeer

Food Products & Supplier of the year, Al Noor Foods

Cash & Carry of the year, Elbrook Cash & Carry

Drink brand of the year, Bulldog Energy Drink by Dr Rami Ranger CBE

Lifetime Achievement Award, Mehboob Hussain

Food Products & Distributer of the year, Manchester Super Store

Portsmouth girl wins top scholarship

Ishal Mahmud, 11, has secured a scholarship to join St Swithun’s School in Winchester (Photo: Momtaj Begum)

Nadine Osman

An 11-year-old girl from Portsmouth has secured a full scholarship to study in one of the country’s top girls’ boarding having attained full marks in her SATs exams.

Ishal Mahmud who is a member of Mensa, the high IQ Society, after scoring in the top one percent of the population in their approved tests, spoke to The Muslim News of her joy in securing a full scholarship to join St Swithun’s School in Winchester.

Dedicated Ishal Mahmud dubbed the ‘British Malala’ has achieved 100 per cent attendance every year since starting Fernhurst Junior School.

It’s not only academic excellence that sets Ishal apart from her peers, Ishal has raised money for Children in Need, Comic Relief and Sports Relief. Her fundraising efforts were rewarded with a head teacher’s achievement award. She is now setting up a charity to help other disadvantaged children to secure places in the country’s top schools.

Ishal’s mother Momtaj Begum of St Augustine Road, Southsea, spoke of the family’s pride and difficulty in securing Ishal a top education. “I am a disabled mother of two and my husband is a taxi driver, we have tried to do whatever we can to support our child in her aspirations and we are so proud of all her achievements. It has not been an easy journey for Ishal but no barrier has been able to halt my daughter.”

“As a disabled person it was never going to be sustainable to continue supporting my child in taking part in as much as she has till today,” she added.

One of the many perks Ishal will enjoy in the £10,000 a term school is world class music lessons. Ishal is a grade 5 pianist, grade 4 organist and grade 3 guitarist, all of which St Swithun’s will be paying for her to continue.

Ishal is also a keen equestrian being a member of the British Pony Club as well as a member of the North Sea Swimming Club, a Young Portsmouth Ambassador and a St John’s Ambulance Cadet.

Ishal who says she hopes to become a lawyer said, “I cannot wait to get stuck in and expand my academic wings whilst developing my passion for playing the organ, piano, singing, horse riding and trying out many other new activities like archery and baking. ”

GCSE and A-LEVEL Honour Roll

A sample of 374 students of the many Muslim students across the country who have excelled in the GCSE and AS/A-Level exams this year. Institutions and students are listed alphabetically.

New numerical grade boundaries:

Numerical grades for English Language, English Literature and Maths have been introduced.

9, 8 & 7 equivalent to A* or A
6, 5 & 4 equivalent to B or C
3, 2 & 1 equivalent to D, E, F or G

Grade Presentation Key:

Numerical grade : 7×2 = Numerical grade attained multiple times i.e. 7, 7.
Traditional grade: 2A* = Letter grade attained multiple times i.e. A*, A*.
Note: All grades are for GCSE exams unless stated otherwise.


Afifah School, M16:
Attika Alferjani 6x2, 5, A*, A, 3B, 3C; Aysha Mughal 6, 5x2, A, 2B, 4C; Fatima Limbada 5x2, 4, 2A, 4B, C; Hira Rasheed 7x2, 6, 2A*, 3A, 3B; Isha Azam 6, 5, 4, 3B, 3C; Kashmala Anwar 8, 7, 6, 3A, 4B, C; Khadija Sadia 5x3, A, 2B, 4C; Rayaan Warsame 5x3, B, 3C, 2D; Safah Mahmood 7, 6, 4, 2B, 3C.

Al-Burhan Grammar School, B11:
Aishah Zamir 9, 6, 5, A*, 2B; Faheema Salahuddin 6x2, 5, A*, A, 2B; Fatimah Zahra 6x2, 5, A*, A, 2B; Fiza Aslam 6x2, 5, A*, 3B; Hana Ahmed 7x2, 6, 3B; Hannah Mahmood 7, 6, 5, A*, 4B; Hina Amjad 6, 5x2, 2A, 2B; Ikra Shabir 6x3, A*, 3B; Khizra Sharif 7x2, 6, 2A*, 3A, B; Mariam Khatun Ali 7x3, A*, 2A, 2B; Maryam Mahmood 6, 5x2, A*, A, 4C; Mehnoor Mughal 8x2, 7, A*, 2A, 2B; Muneefa Aslam 8, 7, 6, A*, 5B; Nimra Jabeen 8, 6x2, 2A, 2B; Sana Zaheer 7, 6, 5, A*, 3A; Sjebiena Fatima Akbar 6x2, 5, 2A, 2B; Zayna Ali 8x3, 4A*, 2A, B; Zeinab Barre 9, 8, 7, A*, 4A.

Al-Khair Secondary School, CR0:
Abdullah Nabeel Ul-Haq 9, 8A*, A; Fareeha Ikram 9, 2A*,5A, 2B; Fojilun Hussain 9, A*, 4A, 4B; Khadeeja Abdus-Samad 2A*, 5A, 2B; Maryam Siddiq 9, 2A*, A, 2B; Mukhlis Abubacker 3A*, 2A, 3B; Nadeem Harris 2A*, 2A, 4B; Sumayyah Imran 9x2, 10A*.

Alperton Community School, HA0:
Abdirahman Hassan 9, 8, 7, 4A*, 3A; Hamza Ahmadi 9x2, 6, 8A*, 2A. A-Levels: Hussein Abdullahi 3B; Iqra Butt A, 2B; Iqra Pangarkar A*, 2A; Muhammad Ali Shah A*, 2A; Najma Ahmed 3B; Omaima Ali 3A*; Shahir Ahmadi 2A*, A; Tamanna Mukarram A*, 2B.

Ayesha Siddiqa Girls School, UB1:
Hawa Ahmed 6x3, 5B, 2C; Maria Khalif 8, 7, A*, 4A, 3B; Ruun Osman 8, 6, 5A, 5B, C; Zainab Azeem 7, 6, 5, 6A, 2B.

Brondesbury College For Boys, NW6:
Abdullahi Haji 8x3, 2A*, 5A, B, C; Ahmed Sherif Khalifa 8, 7, 5, A*, 6A, B; Al-Shagga Ahmed 9, 8, 7, 2A*, 5A, 2B; Ismail Hassan 9, 8x2, A*, 7A, C; Omar Hawwa 9, 8, 7, A*, 6A, B; Said Ali 9, 7, 6, A*, 6A, B; Sulaymaan Ishtiaq Khan 9, 8x2, A*, 7A; Uwais Hassan Shahid 8x3, 5A*, 2A, B.

Collingwood College, GU15:
Fazal-e-Momin Syed 9, 8, 7, 7A*, Distinction*, 4A, B, D.

Copthall School, NW7:
Daniyah Ahmed 9x2, 7, 2A*, 4A, 2B; Fatima Mughal 9, 8x2, 3A*, 4A, B; Mayar Mohamed 9x2, 8, 6A*, 2A; Nabeeha Toufiq 9x2, 8, 4A*, 4A. A-Levels: Iqra Shahzad A*, 2A, B; Nadia Nafakh 3A; Rija Faruqui 2A, B; Samira Sharif 3A.

Crown Hills Community College, LE5:
Aasiya Ravat 9x2, 8, 3A*, 3A; Abdillahi Mohamoud 7, 6x2, A, 5B; Adnan Patel 8, 7, 6, 5A, B; Aliza Khot 9, 8, 7, A*, 4A, B; Gulnaaz Aadilkhan 9, 6x2, 5B, 2A; Hasan Patel 8, 7, 6, A*, 2A, 3B; Kausar Akuji 7, 6x2, 3A, 3B; Khadeejah Patel 8, 6x2, 4A, 3B; Muhammed Buma 8x2, 7, 3A, 3B; Rahima Patel 8, 6x2, 3A, 2B; Saleha Khalifa 9, 8, 7, 2A*, A, 2B; Tayabah Nazir 9, 8x2, 7A*; Yasmin Haidar 6x3, 4A, 2B.

Deenway Montessori School & Unicity College, RG1:  Cambridge IGCSE:
Minal Manan 6, 5, Merit; Ruqayyah Karim 9x2, 4A*, 3A; Summia Islam A, B, C.

Dixons Trinity Academy, BD5:
Abdul Gilani 9x2, 7, 3A*, 3A; Adam Hussain 8x2, 7, 4A, 3B; Adil Ellahi 8x3, A*, 6A; Ahrus Asim 9, 7, 6, 6A*, A; Aimman Sajjad 8, 6x2, A*, 4B, C; Aleena Ahmed 7x2, 6, 5B, C; Alisa Ahmad 9, 7x2, 5B, 2C; Aliyah Mahmood 9, 8x2, 5A*, 2A; Arman Khan 8x2, 7, 5A*, A, B; Haashim Haidari 8, 6, 5, 2A, 3B, 2C; Hanaa Khan 9x2, 7, A*, 3A, B; Hasan Abbas 7, 6x2, 2A, 3B, C; Hifsa Mahmood 9, 8, 7, 4A, 2B, C; Huzaifa Mohammad 8, 7x2, 5A, B, C; Huzaifah Khan 8x2, 7, 4A, B, C; Ibrahim Hanif 9, 8x2, A*, 6A; Ifrah Khan 8, 7, 6, 2A, 3B, C; Iqra Hussain 9x3, 7A*; Kathib Hussain 7x2, 6, 2A, 2B, 3C; Maaria Ali 7, 6x2, 4B, 2C; Maria Gilani 8, 7x2, 3A, 3B, C; Maryam Khan 9, 8x2, A*, 5A, B; Musahaf Ali Shah 8x3, A*, 4A, 2B; Muzaffar Hasan 8, 7, 6, 2A, 2B, 2C; Naila Khan 8, 7, 6, A, 3B, 2C; Naqia Shafiq 9, 8, 6, 2A, 2B, C; Sahar Shah 7x2, 6, A*, 3A, B, C; Tauheed Mahmood 8, 7x2, 5A, B, C; Usaamah Ibrahim 8x2, 7, A*, 4A, B; Usayd Shafi 6x2, 5, 2A, 4B; Uzair Khan 7x2, 6, 3A, 3B, C; Yusuf Khan 9x2, 7, 2A*, 5A; Zeyyan Hussain 9x2, 8, 3A*, 4A.

Dorothy Stringer School, BN1:
Kenan Taylor 6x3, 2A, 4B, C.

Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, HP6:
Mohammad Mahdi Karim 9x3, 7A*, A, (As-level) A.

Forest Gate Community School, E7:
Adil Haji 8, 7, 6, 2A*, 4A, 3B; Adnan Nekiwala 9, 8, 7, A*, 5A, 2B, C; Afifa Patel 9, 7, 6, 2A*, 2A, 5B; Aisha Said 7x2, 6, A*, 2A, 4B, C; Aminul Islam 6x3, A*, A, 4B, C; Anya Mebrouk 9, 8x2, 5A*, 4A; Arif Ahmed 8x2, 7, 2A*, 4A, B; Arzu Alam 9, 7, 6, 3A*, 5A; Ayaz Mohammed Patel 9x2, 7, 4A*, 5A, B, C; Emdadur Rahman 9, 8x2, A*, 5A, 2B; Enayet Uddin 9x2, 8, 2A*, 5A, 2B; Farhana Badshah 9x2, 7, 2A, 3A, 2B; Fuaad Ali 8x3, 2A*, 6A, B; Habibur Rahman 8, 7, 6, A*, 5B, C; Ilyas Eid 8x2, 7, 4A*, 6A, C; Kaashif Kamaly 9x2, 8, A*, 7A; Khadija Ahmed 9x3, 4A*, 5A; Marwa Haddou 9, 7x2, 4A*, 3A, 2B; Mohamed Bussuri 9, 8, 6, A*, 4A, 4B; Mohammad Ali 9x2, 8, A*, 6A, B; Mohammad Sulaimaan Choudhury 7, 6x2, A*, 2A, 5B; Mohammed Yahya 9x2, 8, 4A*, 4A, B; Moosa Ali 9, 8x2, 6A*, 2A, B; Muhammad Bhutawala 9x2, 6, 3A*, 4A, 2B; Muhammad Haris 8x2, 7, 2A*, 2A, 4B, C; Muhammed Umar Sarfaraz 7, 6, 5, 4B, C; Muhtasim Choudhury 9x2, 8, 3A*, 6A; Najam Kashmiri 8, 7x2, 4A*, 6A, 2B; Rahim Miah 8x3, 6A*, 2A, C; Rayyan Chagani 9, 8, 7, 4A*, 5A; Ridhwaanah Khanom 9, 8x2, 2A*, 6A, C; Ridwan Ahmed 8, 7, 6, A*, 5A, 2B, C; Ridwan Mohammad 7x2, 3, A*, A, 4B, C; Rieva Karim 7x2, 6, A*, 4A, 5B; Sabrina Hossain 8, 6, 3, 2A*, 2A, 3B; Safeena Arshad 9, 7x2, A*, 4A, B; Shakib Ali 8, 7x2, A*, 4A, 4B, C; Sundus Sher 9, 7, 6, 3A, 5B, C; Tahmid Rahman 8x2, 6, 2A*, 5A, 2B; Timur Mahmud 8x3, 2A*, 4A, 3B; Yasin Shaikh 9x2, 8, 8A*, A; Zarvesha Rasool 9x2, 8, 2A*, 6A, B; Zayed Shalim 8, 7, 6, A*, 5A, 3B.

Fulham College Boys’ School, SW6:
Abdel Razzaq Fathy Abdel Aziz 8x2, 5, 2A*, 3A, 2B; Wajeed Rahim 9, 8, 7, A*, 2A, 3B; Younes Chaffa 8, 7x2, 3A*, 3A, B, (As-Level) D.

Harris Academy St John’s Wood, NW8:
Muhammad Yusuf Miah 9, 8x2, 5A*, 2A.

Heathcote School and Science College, E4:
Anil Yurtseven 8, 7, 5, A, 5B; Bahlla Karim 7, 6, 4, A*, 3B, C; Esra Dolen 6x2, 4, A, 4B, D; Faizaan Adia 7, 6x2, 2A*, 3A, B; Leena Sadouki 9, 8x2, 2A*, 5A; Mohammad Rahman 7, 5x2, 4A, B, C; Mohammed Rohim 9, 6, 5, 3A, 3B; Mohammed Yaqoob 7, 6, 5, 4A, B, C; Sonia Siddiq 8, 7, 6, 4A, 2B; Taha Raza 8, 7x2, A*, 3A, 2C; Zaahir Hussain 8, 7, 5, 2A, 3B, Distinction; Zainab Sohail 6x2, 4, 3B, 2C. A-Levels: Hafsah Gulabkhan 3B; Mohammed Naveed 3B, (As-Level) A; Sehar Sami 3B, (As-Level) A; Yousef Maait 4A*, (As-Level) A. As-Level: Danyal Raza 4A; Hamza Khalid 3A, B; Mohamud Elmi 3B, C. BTEC: Alle Rizvi x3Distinction; Mohamed Maxamed x2Distinction*, Distinction; Zayaan Hussain x3Distinction*.

Jameah Girls Academy, LE5:
Fatima Hussein 9, 7, 6, 5A, B; Firdous Alam 9x2, 7, 5A*, 3A; Maariya Pirmahomed 9x2, 7, 2A*, 4A; Ruqayyah Nanabawa 8, 7x2, A*, 2A, 5B; Safia Mohammed 8x2, 7, 3A, 3B; Saira Mughal Yamazaki 8x2, 7, A*, 4A, B; Suhaymah Patel 9x2, 8, 4A*, 4A.

Jamiatul Uloom Al-Islamia, LU3:
Aaqib Akhtar 8x3, A*, 5A, B; Muhammad Tanveer Lais 6, 5x2, 6A, 2B.

Kennet School, RG19:
Bilal Zahid 9, 7 x2, 3A*, 3A, B, 2C.

King Ecgbert School, S17:
Asad Arij 9x3, 6A*, Distinction*, A,; Khan Daanish 8x2, 7, 4A*, 3A, Distinction*; Mahmood Imrose 9, 7, 5, 3A*, 2A, B, Distinction*; Miyan Habiba 9x3, 7A*, Distinction*; Mohammad Samar 8x2, 6, 2A*, Distinction*, 4A,, L2 Distinction*; Rashed Um-Kalsum 9, 7x2, 2A*, Distinction*, 3A, B, L2 Distinction*.

Lantern of Knowledge Independent Boys Secondary School, E10:
Abaid Dar 7x2, 6, 3A, 4B, C; Abu Bakr Musaddiq 7, 6x2, A, 5B, 2C; Adullah Ahmed 7, 5, 4, A, 6B, C; Aminur Rahman 8, 6, 5, 6A, B, C; Bilaal Hussain 8, 6, 4, 3A, 4B, C; Ibrahim Ibn Suba 7x3, 7B, C; Mahfuz Ali 8, 7, 6, 2A, 5B, C; Minhaj-Ul-Aabideen 8, 6x2, 4A, 3B, C; Raheb Ahmed 7, 6, 4, 3A, 3B, C, D; Sabbir Bepary 8x2, 6, 6A, 2B; Tanvir Uddin 7x2, 6, 2B, 5C, D; Tawheed Ahmed 7, 6x2, 5B, 2C, D; Usyed Shahzad 7x2, 5, 6B, 2C; Yasser Ahmed 8, 7, 5, A*, 3B, 2C, 2D.

Leicester Community Academy, LE5:
Abdirahman Jama 7, 6, A, 2B, 2C, D; Anisa Javed 6,4, 2A, 2B, D, F; Gulam Muhammad Mulla 7, 6, 2A, 2B, 3C; Ibrahim Vazifdar 8, 6, 2A, 3B, C, D; Mohammed Chasawala 6x2, A*, A, 2B, 3C; Salma Ali 6, 5, A, 3B,, 2C; Umair Girach 7, 4, 2A, 3C, 2D; Uzair Mahomed 7, 5, A, B, 3C, D; Zahra Patel 7, 6, A*, 3A, B, 2C.

Limehurst Academy, LE11:
Ayaan Rahman 8, 7, 6, A*, 5A, B; Fahmida Choudhury 8x2, 7, 4A*, 2A, B; Mohammad Ishaq Hossain 8, 7x2, A*, 4A, B, C; Samina Begum 9, 8, 5, 2A*, 3A, B; Sayed Chowdhury 8x2, 7, 3A*, A, 2B; Tanvir Ahmed 9, 8, 7, 6A*, A ; Tanzim Choudhury 9, 8, 7, 2A*, 3A, B; Thasina Khan 8, 6x2, 3A*, 3A, B.

Sumayyah Loonat of Manchester Islamic High School for Girls with her mother and (left) Head Teacher Mona Mohamed celebrated attaining 9(x3), 5A*, A in her GCSEs

Manchester Islamic High School for Girl, M21:
Aisha Alkali 8x2, 6, 2A*, 3A, B; Bismah Ajmal 7x2, 5, A*, 4A, 2B; Hafsa Qasim 9, 8, 6, 4A*, 2A; Hafsa Rana 9, 7x2, A*(+Distinction), 7A*; Iman Feroze 8x2, 5, A*, 3A, 2B; Khadeeja Nauman 8, 6, 5, 2A*, 4A; Malaaika Zulqurnain 7x2, 6, 5A, B; Mariam Obaide 7, 6x2, A*, 4A, 2B; Maryam Bashaeb 8x2, 7, 5A*, A; Maryam Mansoor 7x2, 6, 5A, B; Michelle Sajjad 9, 8, 6, 2A*, 3A, 3B; Monica Sultana 8, 7, 5, A*, 3A, B; Ruba Ibrahim 7x2, 6, 2A*, 4A; Safa Mahmood 6, 5, 4, 4A, 2B; Saja Al-Jibouri 8x2, 7, 3A*, 2A, 2B; Sajida Ahmed 7x2, 6, 5A, B; Sana Waheed 7x2, 6, A*, 3A, B; Sarah Khan 8, 6, 5, A*, 5A, 2B; Sumayyah Loonat 9x3, 5A*, A; Waddiyah Ahmed 9, 7x2, 4A*, 2A; Zoya Akhtar 6x2, 5, A*, 3A, 2B.

Olive Secondary Boys School, BD3:
Aiysha Arshad 6x2, 4, B, 2C; Azam Hussain 6, 5x2, A*, A, 2B, 2C; Hassan Mohammed 6, 5x2, 3B, 2C; Iqra Ahmed 7, 6, 5, A*, 4B; Iqra Bibi Khan 7, 6, 4, A, 4C; Manfa Khan 6, 4x2, A, 3C; Sidra Aslam 8, 7, 6, A, 4B; Zahra Shafiq 6x3, A, 3B, 2C; Zara Ali 6x2, 4, 2B, 2C.

Plashet School, E6:
Afnaan Firthous 9, 8x2, 2A*, 5A, B; Amarah Saleem 9, 8x2, 2A*, 5A, B; Anika Khair 9x2, 8, 6A*, 2A; Ayesha Kamran 9, 8x2, 3A*, 5A; Bushra Patel 8x2, 7, A*, 6A, B; Hanaa Mohammed 8, 7x2, 3A*, 3A, B; Humairah Ahmed 9x2, 7, 5A*, 2A, B; Iqra Khan 9x2, 8, A*, 6A, C; Isba Rahman 7x2, 6, A*, 6A; Khadija Saadia 9x2, 8, 3A*, 5A; Laela Rahman 9, 8x2, 5A*, A, B, C; Maariya Rahman 8x2, 7, A*, 5A, B; Maisha Alam 8x2, 5, 5A*, 3A; Mariyam Abdul-Mukith 9, 8x2, 2A*, 6A; Mehzabeen Hairsoo 8x2, 7, 3A*, 4A, C; Muhsina Abdulhaq 9, 8x2, 5A*, 3A; Muna Abdulrahman 8x2, 7, 4A*, 3A, B; Raisa Nooraeen 9, 7x2, A*, 6A, B; Rashida Uddin 9x2, 8, 6A*, 2A; Safiyyah Sultana 9, 7, 6, 4A*, 3A, B; Saira Ahmed 9x2, 7, 5A*, 3A; Saiyara Zaman 9, 8x2, 3A*, 5A; Seema Bosor 6, 7x2, 2A*, 5A, C; Tahmina Rahman 9, 7x2, 4A*, 3A, B; Zainab Hussain 8x2, 7, 3A*, 3A, B; Zanab Shams 9x2, 7, 7A*, A.

Portsmouth Academy for Girls, PO1:
Izah Fatima 7x2, 5, 2A*, Distinction*, 3A, B.

Rabia Girls’ School, LU4:
Nusayba Abbas 8, 7x2, A*, 3A, B; Saalihah Husain 9, 7 x2, 3A*, 2A.

Rochester Grammar School, ME1:
Asfia Mohsin 8, 7x2, 3A*, 4A, C; Eissma Hussain 9, 8, 7, 5A*, 3A; Tamara Miah 7, 6 2A*, 4A, B.

Sir George Monoux College, E17  – A-Levels:
Aahad Akhtar 2A*, A; Ashar Rahim A*, A, B; Haroon Suleman A*, 2B; Suniya Iqbal A*, 2B. BTEC: Shereen Rehman 3Distinction*.

St Margaret’s CoE Academy, L17:
Zaaher Ali 8, 5x2, A*, 6A, 2B.

Tawhid Boys School, N16:
Abdi Hadi Kahin 7, 6x2, 2A, 4B, 2C; Abdullahi Ali Abdulle 8, 6, 5, 3A*, 3A, B; Mohsin Imran Amerat 8, 6, 5, 4A, 3B.

Tayyibah Girls School, N16:
Aisha Mapara 9x2, 7, 2A*, 6A; Hibah Seedat 9, 8, 7, 6A, 3B; Khadeejah Hassan 9x2, 8, 4A*, 4A.

The Bemrose School, DE22 A-Levels:
Aisha Khalil Distinction*, Distinction, Merit; Sehrish Asghar Distinctionx2; Zeshaan Ahmed Distinctionx2.

The Bridge Academy, E2 – A-Levels:
Tauseef Ahmad A*, A, B.

The Crypt School, GL2:
Ahmed Arif 7, 6x2, 3A*, 3A, B; Daanyaal Fadra 7, 6, 5, 2A*, 2A, B, 2C; Husnain Ahmed 6, 5x2, 5B, C; Jazib Ahmad 8, 6, 5, 5A*, A, B, C; Mohammed Rahman 6x3, A, 5B, C; Muhammad Haris Amin 7x2, 5, 4A, 3B; Muhammad Hassanjee 7, 5x2, 3A, 4B; Munawwar Motara 7, 6, 5, A*, A, 4B, C; Samiullah Wazir 8, 6, 5, 3A*, A, 2B, C; Saugat Rai 7x2, 4, A*, 4A, B, C; Unays Qureshi 7, 6, 5, 3A*, A, 3B; Yaseen Goga 7, 6, 4, A, 5B, C.


Nudrat Nawar from Upton Court Grammar School aced her GCSE’s with a whopping 9(x3) & 8A*

Upton Court Grammar School, SL3  –  A-Levels:
Adam Wall 2A*, A; Aisha Mughal A*, 2B; Ali Al-Hilly 2A, B; Amena Rafiq 2A, B; Azum Ali 2A, C; Daniel Hadad 3A*; Minhal Khan A*, A, B; Mohammad Qureshi 2A*, C; Shoaib Ali 3A; Tawkir Kamali A*, A, B; Yusif Alhany A, 2B. GCSE: Adil Shaikh 9, 6x2, A*, 5A, C; Adnan Mirza 8x2, 7, 2A*, 3A, B, D; Amber Khan 9, 8, 7, 3A*, 3A, 2B; Amirah Limbada 9x2, 8, 5A*, 3A; Arham Ansari 9x3, 8A*; Faatimah Zamir 9, 7x2, 7A*; Haleena Kabir 8x2, 6, 6A, B; Hammam Bader 9, 8, 4, 4A*, 3A, C; Huseiyn Turacli 9, 7x2, 4A*, 4A; Imran Ashraf 9, 8, 7, 4A*, 4A; Minahal Ahmed 9, 8, 7, 7A*, A; Nadim Mohammed 9x2, 8, 5A*, 3A; Nudrat Nawar 9x3, 8A*; Omid Hussaini 8, 7, 6, 3A*, 2A, C; Raja Kamal 9, 7, 6, 5A*, A, C; Rana Galgal 9, 8, 7, 3A*, 4A; Sanabil Bader 9, 8, 7, 3A*, 5A; Sehar Ahmad 9, 7, 6, 2A*, 6A; Sharjeel Malik 7, 6x2, 5A, 2C; Shria Malik 8x2, 7, 2A*, 5A, C; Sulekha Harris 9x2, 7, 6A*, 2A; Yaman Bader 9, 8, 6, 4A*, 3A, B; Yumna Sarwar 8x2, 7, A*, 7A; Zoya Hassan 9, 8x2, 8A*.

Woodford County High School, IG8:
Amaara Dar 8, 7, 6, 2A*, 4A, B; Anjum Ali 9x3, 6A*, 2A; Areeja Salahuddin 9x2,8, 7A*; Jameela Ali 9x3,5A*, 3A; Mosfirat Nasreen 9x2, 8, A*, 2A, 4B; Sadia Rahman 9x3, 7A*; Yushra Rashid 9, 8x2, 6A*, 2A; Zara Ali 9x2, 8, 5B, 2C. A Level: Aamina Yousaf 2A, B; Khadijah Malik A, 2B; Magda Farghaly A*, 2B; Maisha Bhuiyan 3A; Nusaiba Karim 2A*, A; Rida Wasim A, 2B; Sabah Mohammed 2A*, A; Sanaa Gangat A*, 2A.

Elham Asaad Buaras | © The Muslim News 2017

Mosque attendance correlates with social engagement, UK study finds

London Central Mosque (Photo: Tawelsensei/ Wikipedia Creative Commons)

Hamed Chapman

The more UK Muslims practise their religion and attend mosques, the more engaged they are with society and feel more British not less, according to an academic study.

“Muslims who attend mosques do not live separate lives away from mainstream society,” the research found. It was carried out by Siobhan McAndrew and Maria Sobolewska, lecturers at the Universities of Bristol and Manchester respectively.

Their paper, entitled Mosques and political engagement in Britain: participation or segregation, were the opposite to what was described as “popular myths” about mosques in the UK.

“Media portrayals have depicted some mosques as fostering traditionalism, radicalisation, and cultural divides between British Muslims and others,” it says.

The police, Home Office and Charity Commission as well as sections of the media claim mosques are used for radicalising extremism.

“With the belief that Islam constitutes a threat to British values so widespread, the possibility that mosques may play an important role in the integration of Muslims into British society and politics may appear counter intuitive.”

“We find no evidence that more frequent mosque attendance hinders the political integration of British Muslims and some that it promotes it. To the extent that mosque attendance encourages or at least does not prevent social contact with other ethnic groups and a sense belonging, lower attendance correlates with a sense of disengagement, perceived Islamophobia, and a sense of social distance.”

It was frequent attendees who were “as likely as those who do not attend to feel that they have something in common with other British people; more likely to have friends outside their ethnic or religious group; and overall more likely to engage in mainstream British politics given rates of engagement among British Muslims which are already high,” the study found.

“In sum, our results support an optimistic interpretation of Muslim civic and political integration in Britain and the pro-social benefits of religious involvement.”

Instead, their report said, “it is the non-religious predictors, such as the perception of prejudice and the feeling of social distance from whites, that are a more solid predictor of political disengagement and oppositional engagement than religious involvement.”

As they pointed out, “a good deal of academic research shows that religious participation is generally pro-social: people who participate in communal religious events tend to be more active in civic and political associations, and have more social and political capital.”

Nonetheless, distrust of religious Muslims was found to remain high in a country whose politicians and media often portray mosque-attendance as linked to so called “radical Islam”.

The research referred to “when discussing radical Islam, integration and the role of mosques, politicians are often careful to emphasise that most Muslims in Britain are peace-loving and loyal Britons.” But it found that the evidence regarding public distrust of Muslims by non-Muslims, suggested such “caveats are empty in effect.”

“Regular attendance at a place of worship is good for fostering trust and civic activity, regardless of the faith community in question,” McAndrew said. “We also know from previous research that religious people are known to show higher support for existing political arrangements – in that sense, regular attendance is a force for integration. We accordingly were unsurprised to find these effects for British Muslims, just as they have been found for Christians and others.”

“Despite media and political discourse that Muslim religiosity promotes separateness, in our research, we found no evidence for this, and some that it actually promotes civic involvement and political integration. Moreover, the factors predicting disengagement are similar to those for people who are not Muslim: for example, there are strong generational differences,” he said.


Muslims well-integrated in Europe, new study confirms

Hamed Chapman

Muslims in Europe are well-integrated into mainstream society despite facing significant obstacles and resistance encountered along the way, a new study released by the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany has found.

Religion Monitor 2017 disputes myths about claimed failures about Muslims to integrate, whether it be the language is spoken at home or everyday religious practices or even the supposed incompatibility of Islam to democracy and meritocracy which some right-wing groups espouse.

The representative survey carried out in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the U.K. found that second and third-generation Muslims had a better command of the national language, were much better educated and, despite continued discrimination, were also successful in the labour market.

Bertelsmann Foundation Director and expert on social cohesion, Stephan Vopel, underlined that contrary to claims put out by far-right politicians, Islam was not an impediment to successful integration in Europe.

“Islam is not an obstacle to integration. Muslims, even the highly religious, learn the new language and strive for higher education levels just as much as other immigrants,” he said at the launch of findings of the survey. “When integration stalls, the state framework conditions are usually the reason.”

France proved to be the most successful country for linguistic integration, followed by the UK. Over 90 percent of immigrant children in France have grown up with French as their first language, and 80 percent of Muslims born in the UK learned English as children.

Among second generation Muslims, less and less Muslim children were found to be leaving school before their 18th birthday. Nearly 67 percent stayed in school past their 17th birthday. Germany and Switzerland were named as the countries where Muslims were the most successful at integrating into the job market.

“In both these countries, the rate of gainful employment among Muslims no longer differs from that of the total population,” the report said. But it also emphasised that Muslims were earning significantly less, especially in Germany, as they were more often employed in low-wage positions.

Successful integration was particularly notable in increased social contacts between Muslims and non-Muslims, according to the report. “Seventy-five percent of Muslims regularly spend their free time with non-Muslims. The interreligious contact also increases with each generation, as does identification with the receiving country.” Overall, nearly all of those surveyed (94 percent) felt connected to the country where they live.

Despite the progress made in integration, the report revealed that Muslims who profess their faith and practice their religion often encounter discrimination in labour market as indicated by the gross disparity often in wages.

“So far, no country in Western Europe has found a convincing balance of equal opportunity and respect for religious diversity,” said author of the report, Yasemin El-Menouar. She added that highly religious Muslims faced more difficulty finding a job that corresponded to their qualifications.

While European governments have taken various initiatives to promote participation of immigrants in social and economic life, Muslims continue to encounter open rejection from as many as around one-fifth of the population, the survey found. Nearly 20 percent of Europeans interviewed for the survey said they did not want to have Muslims as neighbours.

Home Office suppressed positive reports on immigration

Sir Vince Cable has accused the PM of supressing up to nine expert reports (Photo: Creative Commons)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Liberal Democrat Leader, Sir Vince Cable, has accused the Prime Minister of suppressing up to nine expert reports that found immigration has little effect on wages or jobs of UK workers.

Theresa May, who was the longest serving Home Secretary, has continually defended plans to enforce strong controls on European Union workers after Brexit by arguing they are needed to protect Britons in lower-paid jobs.

In a statement released on September 7, Cable said during his time as Business Secretary, “there were up to nine studies that we looked at that took in all the academic evidence. It showed that immigration had very little impact on wages or employment. But this was suppressed by the Home Office under Theresa May because the results were inconvenient.”

Sir Vince added: “I remember it vividly. Overwhelmingly it has been the case that overseas workers have been complementary rather than competitive to British workers. The exodus of tradespeople, NHS staff and tech industry workers shows the potential damage of an extreme Brexit.”

The claims come after the leak of draconian Home Office proposals for post-Brexit curbs on immigration, triggering a major political row.

The plans would strip all newly-arrived EU migrants of their rights to live permanently in the UK, imposing permits of between two and five years.

In her Conservative party conference speech last year, the PM said: “I know a lot of people don’t like to admit this. For someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesn’t seem fair.”

However, the claim was rejected by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which argued immigrants also create jobs, expanding the opportunities for British workers.

Business leaders, defending the need for immigration, have argued that employment is at record levels, creating shortages in the UK workforce.

A spokesman for the Home Office told The Muslim News, “We published a joint report with BIS [The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills] back in 2014 when he was in charge of the Department which covered the evidence on labour market impacts of migration

We have also commissioned the MAC over the years to look at different migration routes and one such report found ‘a Small negative impact on the wages of the low paid.’”

Corbyn impressed by contributions of mosques

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader, Labour Party and Shokat Ali, Chair, British Muslim Friends of Labour
(Photo: Ahmed J Versi/Muslim News)


Ahmed J Versi

Labour Leader was “impressed” by mosques who are feeding the hungry across the country.

Jeremy Corbyn said he was “impressed” by “contributions made by mosques all over the country in ensuring that people who are undeservedly hungry are fed by you who care for them.”

He was speaking at the Eid al-Adha reception at the Labour Party Headquarters in London organised by British Muslim Friends of Labour on September 6. Corbyn said Eid is about “celebrating the values of Islam, the values of compassion, and helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves.”

Criticising the Government on austerity he said his government would be that “cares for all and that we have a society that does not rely on food banks.” The Opposition Leader thanked the Muslim community who “give people at the time of crisis”, especially “those that rushed to the aid of others during the fire at Glenfell Tower fire.”

“That is the true spirit of what Eid is all about, what a community is all about.”

British Asian footballers numbers remain low

Nadine Osman

A new study has shown that British Black players have doubled since 1992 and the number of British Asians have remained consistently low in the Premier League.

Aston Villa’s Easah Suliman recently captained the England Under 19s team to victory at the European Championships is one of very few British Asians playing professionally.

Centre-half Suliman, who made his full debut for Aston Villa in the 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic on August 23, is already contracted to the club until 2019. He is also the only Muslim to have captained England at any age level and was recognised at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards last year.

The championships, organised by the Scottish Ethnic Minority Sports Association and in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Rangers Football Club and Celtic Football Club, were played from September 1 to 3 at Ibrox.

Explaining the level of exclusion of Asians footballers and coaches Sporting Equals CEO, Arun Kang, said; “There are over four million British Asians and football is the most popular participation sport but there have been only 5-10 British Asian professional footballers out of approximately 3000 players in recent years.”

He added, “It seems these players become invisible to the footballing bodies when transitioning into professional football. When it comes to coaching at an elite level too it is worrying. There is no Asian breakdown but the number of BAME coaches at UEFA B and above level is less than 9 percent. This is extremely disappointing and the football authorities need to examine whether they have the right infrastructure helping them to increase the British Asian numbers in professional football.”

Yunus Lunat, Immediate Past Chair of FA Race Equality Advisory Board, said, “It is concerning that the footballing authorities are continuing to fail to address the lack of opportunities at governance and administration and Boardroom level. It is this failure and the need to create positive role models that is one of the factors helping to feed the continued exclusion of Asians excelling and progressing in football.”

Lunat continued, “First generation Asian parents ensured their offspring attained qualifications rather than focus upon sport yet there have been little opportunities for this generation who are now into their prime working years. This is largely because of the closed recruitment process which recruits like for like and fails to recognise any transferable skills to allow opportunities for Asians to prove their worth.”

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets